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Grateful Dead Live at Merriweather Post Pavilion on 1983-06-20

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Grateful Dead Live at Merriweather Post Pavilion on 1983-06-20

Topics Dean Grabski

Set 1

New Minglewood Blues
They Love Each Other
Little Red Rooster
My Brother Esau
Tennessee Jed
Hell InA Bucket
West L.A. Fadeaway
The Music Never Stopped

Set 2

China Cat Sunflower ->
I Know You Rider
Samson And Delilah
He's Gone ->
Truckin' ->
Drums ->
Space ->
Bob Star () ->
The Other One ->
Wharf Rat ->
Sugar Magnolia

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Merriweather Post Pavilion
Location Columbia, MD

Source Nakamichi 300's > Sony TCD5M > Sony D-6 Maxell XLIIS Master (outside in the insane weather and thick sound!) Thanks to Ted (?) for the patch.
Lineage Maxell XLIIS Master > Nakamichi DR-3 > Apogee MiniMe (16/44.1) > EGOSYS WT2496 (soundcard) > SoundForge 7 > CDWAVE 1.93.3 > FLAC frontend 1.7.1
Taped by Dean Grabski
Transferred by Dean Grabski


Location: Outside on the lawn, slightly right of center about 30 ft from the repeaters. The sound was incredibly clear - of course you can hear the rain during quieter parts of the second set, but for those there it just adds to the intensity of the listening experience.

Notes: This is one of the most memorable Grateful Dead concerts I've attended. The weather and band were incredibly fierce. There are so many vivid memories of this night - of course the intense weather; there were record rainfall amounts set and huge bright lightning bolts filling the sky. The thoughts that go through ones head when lightning is crackling all over the place and you have an aluminum microphone stand (lightning arrestor) up in the air with a tape deck wired directly to your chest! Were we dedicated, insane or both? I remember the microphones owner dressed up in sailing foul weather gear looking like a mad ship captain around the mast -"ah mate bring it on".. There were others patched out of me and another rig or two set up during the 1st set but they all bailed shortly into the 2nd set or during the break.

During the 2nd set there were a few times when the power would go out, it's pretty wild to listen to since you can hear the stunned audience come up from the silence, then the power comes on with a speaker pop and Phil just wails!

Walking out I was completely stunned by the whole experience, getting into my car and trying to find a hotel since there was no way we were going to try to camp that night? Sorry for taking so long to share it with you.

Flaws: We didn't record drums since that would've taken one extra flip and with the weather


Reviewer: Swiss Chz - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 8, 2015
Subject: nice quality except fast play back
anybody else notice? Many a couple cents sharp with middle C @ 440 Hz. Typical tape recording issues, which can be fixed, although it would slow the energy down a bit.

Yes I was there- (~):^) favorite non-music memory of people swimming in the flood created lake by the top concession stand. We fit 5 people under a golf umbrella and the rain still came through the umbrella. I must admit the concert from the lawn, which was almost empty by second set, seemed a bit drowned out by natures own prowess. Although, when the two elements came crashing together with lightning strikes and power outages, I knew I'd never forget.
Reviewer: BVD - favorite - November 21, 2014
Subject: Guess I'm Old
Really? Between Bob Star and a four minute OO getting five stars?!?! 80s Dead had their moments I suppose. This wasn't one of them.
Reviewer: David1231 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 21, 2013
Subject: If the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will
Even though this show was an absolutely fantastic event, I will definitely not forget the weather! As soon as the encore was over, we all took off for our car! We got there just as a flash flood hit the rest of the cars that were near us in the parking lot! But getting back to the music, it was a magnificent show! And I was wearing my poncho and hanging out on the lawn through all of that incredible rain while the band played on! The weather did not even dent the spirit of anyone that I saw! But the way that lightning would crackle through the PA system was the most awesome thing I can recall to this day! But it didn't seam to phase the band one little bit! As a matter of fact, it actually added a lot of excitement to the whole scene! Such an incredibly good time was had by all!
Reviewer: The Grog - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 20, 2013
Subject: Single most INTENSE show ever!
6/20/2013 ***UPDATED*** Happy 30th Anniversary to all you freaks who were at this show! Hard to believe it's been 30 freaking years since this gem. Yes, we are all getting a little Touch of Grey aren't we? Still one of my favorites. Give it a whirl and when in doubt, TWIRL!

For those of you who were not there - Read the comments and BELIEVE the passion behind them.

For those who were there - Remember this one forever!

I agree with many that have commented, that this was the most incredible experience of my Deadhead life. I saw somewhere between 95 - 100 (Lost count, sorry) shows myself. I was lucky enough to catch a New Year's show at end of '85 and also saw them once in an amusement park (Wonderland in Toronto anyone?), but this, by far, was the most mind blowing.

My best friend even ran away from home to go see this show! Rode a bus from Doylestown, PA and then hitch-hiked out of Baltimore. The whole story is amazing really involving spending the night outside the Sears customer pickup roof at the mall, hidden bags in the woods that we found after the show with lighters in the rain, etc. Another time for all that as I don't want to clog things up here.

THE SHOW! Oh my, what a show! I agree that the boys fed on the frenzied madness and energy of the crowd this night. For those who have never been to the Merriweather Post Pavilion I HIGHLY recommend it! If you are anywhere near that area go see a concert there, ANYTHING! It is set in the woods in suburbia and is just super cool.

I think this was only my 4th Dead show so I was still pretty new to the scene. The energy in the air was palpable. There was a buzz in the air (and in many heads) that is unlike anything I had experienced before, or since for that matter.

The first set was amazing in its own right, the playing was fantastic, the boys were grooving along with the crowd. It rained but we didn't care since we were in the pavilion near the left rear.

The second set was legendary. The RAIN, the RAIN, the RAIN! Wow I have never seen such an intense storm. I remember looking back at the "Mud People" over and over again, shaking my head. Many times it was like a waterfall coming off of the pavilion and you couldn't even see them. When it did slow down Mud People were sliding down the lawn a la Woodstock (the original one for you young folks) and it was total chaos!

China>Rider>Sampson was so freaking intense my brother blew a fuse. He kept asking my friend and I if we should go. We were like "Go? Go where?" His altered state couldn't stay there anymore and he left. The band then immediately started playing He's Gone (which was really creepy). I found out the next day he got so confused trying to get out he actually climbed the fence! He's the only one I know who ever scaled the fence to get OUT of a Dead show! LMFAO! The lightning strikes were absolutely INSANE and interrupted the sound multiple times, especially during Trucking, The Other One, and Wharf Rat. When you hear random cheers from the crowd during this show and you are wondering what it is, guaranteed it was because of a wicked lightning flash. While I am usually a fan of soundboards, this is a show where you should enjoy this clear audience copy and listen with your headphones. You can hear the energy build in the crowd as the night goes on, especially during lightning strikes. After Bobby does his "Aboriginee Rap" during Sugar Mag he says "So what do you think about that?" There is momentary pause and then this girl screams as her mind is completely split open as she processes what he just said. Absolutely priceless!

The next day there were cars under water, motorcycles under water, etc. Hell, I'm surprised there weren't people under the water. That place never recovered from that night. Neither did anybody who was there. That would be great to have some kind or reunion party like somebody suggested, it was THAT remarkable.

Reviewer: dapanic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 3, 2011
Subject: Thank you Dean!
Great recording, great show. The fat man plays Rooster like the blues God that he was. Soulful show.
Reviewer: gratefulkevin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 22, 2011
Subject: I told you that it would rain.
The show brought me as close to the Lord as one may get. The scene was crazy and those biker dudes were flooded out due to four inches of rain in three hours. The lightning display was unusual? Having a recording from this show is true love. Truckin' etc Always live in the moment!!!!!!!!!
Reviewer: Brooklyn Peach - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 17, 2011
Subject: Don't let a little rain get you down
This show was off the charts. We came down from Saratoga thinking nothing could top that, so the universe thought it would shake us up a bit. What a show! After a while you just gave up and melted into the warm rain. Remember the guy with the watermelon halves on his feet, clumping around in the mud? All that mud wasn't our fault, really, it wasn't. It was just that that much water came down in such a short amount of time, and you had to put your feet somewhere... The intensity crested during Wharf Rat with the sporadic lightning and the crowd cheering in response at each flash, culminating in the awesome lightning strike on the concrete pavillion itself just before 'I'll get up and fly away', you can hear the crowd go whoa instead of cheering, and I swear Jerry sounds a little nervous after that one...Epic is all I can say. The experience is all, sorry that those that weren't there don't get it; myself very, very thankful to hear the tape so I can relive a tremendous show. At Saratoga Springs the band played the weather. At Merriweather Post Pavillion the weather played the band.
Reviewer: Zeno Marx - - November 7, 2010
Subject: needs some fixing
Nice sound, but it needs pitch correction. Jerry sounds like a chipmunk.
Reviewer: shennygolfer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 29, 2010
Subject: The caddy
My buddies and I made the trip down from York College in a semi-new Cadillac. It was trashed by the time we got back to YCP. Too much mud!
Reviewer: utopian - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2010
Subject: A RIPPER!!
Simply, one of the better recordings ever made.

And a performance of the highest order, from any era.


like 83?
check out
Reviewer: ddbtyor - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2010
Subject: Stormy Weather
This was my second GD show after fall 82 I'm one of the first "Touch-heads" because they debuted the song as an encore that night at the Cap Centre.

Yet, this second one was different. The bus came by and I got on because of this show. Anyone that went to this show knows about the storm that showed up at the beginning of the second set and did not stop the entire time. Either the band played the weather - or the weather played the band.

Anyone remember walking through knee-deep water to get back to the cars? The bikers weeping because their parking spot was under water? T

Anyways, listen to 'Truckin' if nothing else. This is a band that keeps playing when the power cuts out, and Phil Lesh was pissed about that.
Reviewer: eddierocksout - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 7, 2010
Subject: A Great Start
At least one other wonderful thing happened on June 20th, 1983. At Mercy Hospital in Baltimore (a mere 15 miles-less, as the crow flies-down the road from Merriweather), my mother heeded the doctor's orders to "PUSH!" and brought me kicking and screaming into the world. Many times growing up I heard my parents tell the story of the epic storm that rocked Maryland on the night I was born, but it was only after I had discovered the Dead that I found out there was more than lightning in the air that night.

I listen to this show every birthday, thanks Dean for improving on the less-than-stellar recording I had before!
Reviewer: Sollipsist - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 27, 2010
Subject: crazy fun essential good that you can feel the power and fun and chaos still touching you through time and space. This one is all about Phil's bombs and Bob's improvs, the crowd and the weather. Bob Star, Other One, Wharf Rat, Sunshine Daydream...unforgettable.

Listening to 69-77 always makes me wish that I'd been born twenty years earlier. This is one of the few later shows that makes me think being born just four or five years earlier would have been worthwhile, too. Oh well, keep working on that time machine...
Reviewer: Bzl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 29, 2009
Subject: Amazing
No one there will ever forget. Best Wharf Rat and best Sugar Mag ever? Violent weather and a violent second set!

This is the best source. I just saved an upload since I thought a master tape in my possession was better, but it's not.
Reviewer: crypticaldevelopment - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 20, 2009
Subject: "What do you think about that?"
2nd Dead show ever, age 16, accompanied -- bless her -- by my German-born, non-Hippie mother and two teenaged friends. At 4 pm the sky was darker than night, adding to the glorious confusion of an early d*se of very powerful something or other. Sweet and strong first set (precious Peggy-O) and then. . . hell and heaven opened up. Rain, thunder, wind and SYF bolts of lightening. The band and the crowd went nuts. I felt like I was risking my life AND I WAS IN THE PAVILLION. Thank you Dean for your valor. The spectacle continued: a babbling brook near the venue became raging rapids -- ambulances, helicopters, 4 hrs of parking lot chaos and 5,000 people stranded overnight, though no one seemed to mind (earning a story in the Wash. Post).

The playing was apocalyptic. Rock thumpers like Sugar Mag took on a crazed, late 60s energy. We all thought, the boys included, we'd die happy! Check out the dream rap in sugar mag and you'll know what to think about, to think about, to think about that. . .
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 26, 2009
Subject: Jerryweather!!
One year before my first Merriweather show (6/27/84) and 2nd show overall. This is a great show at an awesome venue for the Dead (I also saw both '85s and the two JGBs in '89). The Dead outgrew this place, but it still is a big part of the lore esp. for DC heads.

TLEO and Misc are awesome in the first, with the second being pretty much a total fest. Also, the recording quality is excellent--thanks!!
Reviewer: taemacho - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 15, 2009
Subject: Dean & Ted are brave souls
I really love this recording! I live about a half hour from Merriweather and I remember this show well. I was in the pavilion and looked back at the rain coming down and was mighty. I'm surprised you weren't washed away in it. I'm glad now to have a great lawn recording of this made with my favorite microphones and tape decks. Oh and if you want the drums, just get it from one of the other two sources that has all of it, either the 7:48 or 7:50 and you can just edit out the first minute and 10 seconds because it is on this source already at the end of the Truckin' jam. You can just put it after that at the end of disc 2. Thanks for the wonderful show! It is really hot, by the way. First east coast Hell In A Bucket and second time it was played. Brings back great memories!
Reviewer: Extinguiderm - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2008
Subject: Listen to PHIL!!! Thank you DEAN!
Oh my freaking Goodness, I have waited 25 years, two months and 5 days for this recording! I was right there with you, brother Dean, along with so many friends. This show was about as over the top as they got... Thank you SO much for bringing it all back...

Reviewer: darazn1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2008
Subject: The best recording of this one.
If you haven't heard...

The overpowering energy of the first set.

The p.a. drop-outs due to lightning.

Bob Star and Phil bomb to start the Other One.

Lighting strikes the sound stage in Wharf Rat.

Bobby goes insane during Sugar magnolias, talking about some aboriginal view of reality, and screaming his way like he thought the next lightning bolt will strike him.

This is the best source of the bunch. A fearless, powerful show.
Reviewer: sactown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 29, 2008
Subject: thank you!
Beautiful! Thank you so much!
'dedicated or crazy'? thankfully for us, you were BOTH.
Reviewer: srtg83 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 14, 2008
Subject: Thanks Dean
Thank you Dean for risking your life so that we could all listen to this gem. I prefer the sound of this recording off the repeaters to all the fobs now available from this show. It does not have the hollow pavillion sound typical of the outdoor fobs. I am not going to review the show because you should all know it note for note by now. This was a legendary event, the X-factor was dripping in large rain dropps throughout. Someday I hope the SBD for this and the Toga show would be released. I also wish that a video were around of these two shows as well. Until then this is as good as it gets.
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